This Polish crime film is as hard as nails and quite the most remarkable achievement in that genre.
Using largely non-actors in the lead roles, Totem is undeniably authentic in every instance and where in every corner lurks menace and danger.
Totem tells the story of two brothers involved in a drug deal that leads to tragic consequences. Savage is fresh out of jail and wants to work his way up the criminal ladder. His role model is his brother Igor, the boss of a gang that plays a major role in town but who doesn't let Savage join his group. Savage's girlfriend is a prostitute who decides to take revenge on her pimp by telling Savage the details of a drug deal that the pimp is involved in and from there things go to hell in a handbasket.
Minimalist, dark and gritty Totem is an excellent contribution to the crime/gang genre and a real treat for film-lovers looking for something with real bite.